This Happened Today

smash_patriarchy

This morning I asked the staff member at my local YMCA's front desk about whether the facility had a policy on wearing clothing with sexist messages.I didn't expect to find myself there, asking that question.It started out as a normal day at the Y. I lifted some weights and then walked to the drinking fountain. And there, in front of me, was a man. All I could see was the back of his shirt. I wish I had taken a picture, but I didn't have my iPhone on me and besides, I didn't want to … [Read more...]

Upworthy, Duke, and Ableist Slurs

Gay and Stupid

I recently came upon an Upworthy article that asked the following question: Which one of these is not like the others: 1. That's so dumb. 2. That's so stupid. 3. That's so annoying. 4. That's so gay.To me the answer was obvious: The first two are ableist slurs and the last one is a homophobic slur. Only the third one does not personal characteristics like sexual orientation or physical or mental normatively as derogatory slurs. Given this introduction, I assumed the article as going to … [Read more...]

The Politics of Middle School Leggings Activism

leggings

Somehow I missed Amanda Hess's recent article, Middle-School Girls Picket for the Right to Wear Leggings. It may seem a little thing, but the little things are often also the most achievable. Today Amanda followed up on the issue with another article, Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty. Interviewee Sophie Hastings has only just hit her teens, but I found her amazingly perceptive.First, Sophie explains how she got involved in leggings activism---and why leggings became a … [Read more...]

A Rape Trial from behind the Scenes

Jury

I found this comment from reader enuma of interest, and thought I'd share it. The way rape trials play out will of course vary from place to place, but this idea that accused rapists are de facto considered guilty is ridiculous. I'd like to believe that consent isn't that difficult to grasp, but when I was a juror for a rape trial I watched a defense attorney come *thisclose* to convincing some of the jury that not trying to escape, and then giving up on an escape attempt from a rapist (because … [Read more...]

A Complete Misunderstanding of the Term “Rape Culture”

caroline-kitchens-rape-culture-rainn

The nation's largest and most influential anti-sexual-violence organization is rejecting the idea that culture — as opposed to the actions of individuals — is responsible for rape. This is the first sentence of Caroline Kitchens' recent opinion piece in Time Magazine, It's Time To End the 'Rape Culture' Hysteria. Kitchens is a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute. And yet, with that one sentence, Kitchens makes it clear that she does not understand what is meant by the term "rape cult … [Read more...]

“Those are for Boys!” and Other Stories

Hugging

Two days ago I wrote about gender and confirmation bias and some of my own experiences as I raise my two young children, one girl and one boy. There's a lot I didn't write and there will be more posts on this topic to come, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the comments on that post, as many of my readers weighed in with their own experiences, either as children themselves or raising children today. Feel free to add more of your own stories in the … [Read more...]

Bobby’s Trains and Confirmation Bias

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Bobby's face was pressed against the glass surrounding the electric train set. The trains were running, whistling, and crossing each other's paths. It was his favorite part of the children's museum. Even at only one year of age, children have interests and show preferences, and one of Bobby's definite interests is trains.Just then, my husband Sean's Uncle Dale walked over and smiled at Bobby. "Look at him!" he said. "He's obsessed with that train. He's such a boy!" I frowned. I hate it when t … [Read more...]


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